The likely candidates to reach number one at the box office and knock out The Expendables from the top spot in the third go-round, may be two contenders with little star power that find themselves in a close battle.
New films releasing this weekend, Takers and The Last Exorcism, will vie for first place, hoping to earn close to $15 million each and barely edge the other out. The Expendables is not expected to make more than $10 million based on a typical drop from last weekend's $17 million.
The action thriller Takers features Zoe Saldana, Matt Dillon, Idris Elba and R&B singer Chris Brown and rapper T.I., which are not the box office draws of Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis but it might perform like The A-Team which opened with $25 million.
Horror film The Last Exorcism, like Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, is shot in a faux documentary-style and features unknown actors. It releases in 600 more theaters than Takers and is the subject of a big ad campaign which might help its lack of an indie buzz.
A wild card is the re-release this weekend of Avatar: Special Edition in 3D with 8-1/2 more minutes of footage, which shows in 810 theaters including IMAX and could bring audiences to screens.
Note: The release of the Drew Barrymore film
Going the Distance was moved from August 27 to September 3 in the US.